Smoking can damage your health.  I have always known this.  On Boxing Day 1968 I was heading south on the old Derby Ring Road, destination Mallory Park for the annual winter race meeting.  I never finished the 180 mile round trip from Altrincham.  Distracted by my attempts to light up while at the wheel, I didn’t see the approaching roundabout until it was too late.  The only route was straight across the middle.  The high kerbs squared off the front wheels of my sky blue Mini (6428 VR), pushed back the subframe and cracked the front windscreen.  My pride and limited reserves were severely damaged.  I was seventeen and lacking the necessary powers of concentration.  Two more lesser incidents the following year finally drilled the message home – keep you mind on your drivin’, keep you hands on the wheel.

Now, ‘older and wiser’, I think nothing of driving 750 miles over a weekend except the incentive has changed; once it was racing circuits, now it is golf courses and in this instance, Sconser on the Isle of Skye followed by Traigh near Arisaig.

The Isle of Skye Golf Club sits next to the sea overlooking Raasay, the island with the haunted bridge and Calum’s Road.  To the north of the course is the Skye to Raasay ferry and at its southern end, Sconser quarry.  I like to imagine explosions from the quarry mid backswing and shrapnel peppering the second green. It has all the right ingredients for Golf in the Wild – the friendly but unpretentious clubhouse, empty fairways, well kept greens, mountains and the salty sea air.  The occasional midge is a price worth paying. Look up the hill from from the first green and the main road disappears; the clubhouse appears to sit alone in a mountainous landscape, the perfect illusion.

The differing filter effects reflect a very changeable day:

The first ... The first ... Towards ... The Raasay Ferry...

The following day’s weather was less mixed, more consistent – rain and wind. Nevertheless, we were determined to enjoy the Traigh Open and in a determined fashion we did. Many thanks to for sharing in the highs and lows of Golf in the Wild at Sconser and Traigh.

The view from ... The view from the 2nd ...


Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

The sea! The sea!  The open sea!
The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
Without a mark, without a bound,
It runneth the earth’s wide regions round.
It plays with the clouds, it mocks the sky,
Or like a cradled creature lies

The first verse from the poem “The Sea” by Bryan Waller Procter (pseud. Barry Cornwall: 1787 – 1874) reproduced in Edmund Clarence Stedman’s A Victorian Anthology (McCullin, 1990)

Over the sea to Skye – aboard the Mallaig to Armadale ferry:

The Sea

The Sea

Another image from the same trip, this time from land.  The picture was taken the evening before; it is the view from Traigh Golf Club car park across a firey sea to the Inner Hebrides:

The sea

(click on images to enlarge)

Travel theme: Flow – Take 2

The more I look at my previous post on this Travel Theme, the less impressed I become – sometimes it pays to keep things simple.  The first in particular looks as though it might have been taken by Curiosity Rover – a return to Life on Mars.  As documentary evidence of the day and the landscape it is way off target so here, as compensation to the good people of Ord, are two straight pictures.  The second has not much to do with the theme but it does show the crystal clear waters of Loch Eishort.  Most of all, they take me back:

OrdOrd(click on the images to enlarge)

Travel theme: Flow

These photographs were taken a few weeks back on the Isle of Skye where the Ord River flows into Loch Eishort.  About two miles from the ferry at Armadale there is left turn at Kilbeg which takes you on a single-track detour through Tarskavaig, Tokavaig and Ord eventually re-emerging some 3 miles further north on the same Armadale to Broadford road.  These photographs were taken on the beach at Ord, the northernmost point of the diversion.

Ord River

Ord on SkyeThis second image was taken from the same beach looking north towards the small hamlet of Ord.  The drag of the tide is such that the pebbles on the beach appear to be flowing towards the sea (click on the images to enlarge).